Tons of coal get illegally transported from Lugansk to Russian Federation by trucks every day. Reporters of Radio Svoboda posted a video taken at the border checkpoint controlled by illegal armed groups of so-called Lugansk People’s Republic.
Trucks with coal go 24/7 from the territory of Lugansk Region which not under Ukraine authorities control to Russian Federation via “Dolzhanskiy” border checkpoint, located near Sverdlovsk. Everyday there are about 30 trucks. There are different vehicles, many that are not designed to transport coal. Trucks get in a line separate from the rest of the cars and buses. Those who didn’t cross the customs spend a night in a field next to remains of burnt military vehicles. In Summer 2014 there was a lot of fighting, the checkpoint from Lugansk side is in ruins. From the Russian side everything looks fine. At Russian customs trucks with illegal coal get through scanners and go to unknown destination further deep into Russian territory. The coal is good quality, a lot of it ends up in the villages located near the border.
You can see the video of Radio Svoboda below.
Special Monitoring Mission of OSCE reported many times that they saw trucks taking coal to Russia going through the border checkpoints controlled by pro-Russian militants. The information below was reported on November 14, 2015.
Along the Ukraine-Russian Federation border, in Donetsk region, the SMM visited three crossing points. In “DPR”-controlled Marynivka (79km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM counted 59 heavy trucks loaded with coal and nine civilian cars waiting to cross into the Russian Federation. According to some interlocutors (four men and two women), the average waiting time for the civilian cars was 15-20 minutes on the “DPR”-controlled side, while some of the truck drivers told the SMM they had to wait for over 20 hours. Two of the truck drivers told the SMM that high quantities of coal were transported into the Russian Federation over the last couple of days.
– reported by OSCE at http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/199946
So-called “Minister of Fuel, Energy and Coal Industry of Lugansk People’s Republic” (LPR) Dmitriy Lyamin banned coal export with the use of trucks starting from September 5, 2015. Just few weeks after that on October 17 he was arrested by so-called “Ministry of State Security”.
This created a conflict inside LPR. At the time when Dmitriy Lyamin was arrested the head of LPR Igor Plotnitskiy was in Russia, but he immediately made a statement that he fires the head of “Ministry of State Security” Leonid Pasechnik and ordered to release Dmitriy Lyamin. But Pasechnik didn’t resign from his position and Lyamin was not released. Plotnitskiy returned to Lugansk few days later but the conflict didn’t develop any further.